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Full text of "History And Human Relation"

TRAGIC    ELEMENT    IN   MODERN    CONFLICT

can make the evidence square with itself, or secure a
story that comprehends all the factors and embraces the
purely partial visions of the two opposing sides. Then,
after much labour, you may achieve something more
like a stereoscopic vision of the whole drama. Similarly,
if an English foreign secretary and an Austrian am-
bassador give curiously divergent reports of a conversa-
tion that they have had with one another, the historian
mudd not be content merely to add the two reports
together. Collating them inch by inch, he would use
one document to enable him to see new folds of
implication in the other. So he would be carried to a
higher version of the whole affair—one which embraces
the contradictions in the original accounts and even
enables us to understand how the discrepancies ,should
have occurred. In the long run the historian will not
limit himself to seeing things with the eyes of the Royalist
or with the eyes of the Roundhead; but, taking a loftier
perspective which puts him in a position to embrace
both, he will reach new truths to which both sides were
blind—truths which will even enable him to see how
they came to differ so much from one another.

When the historiography of the English seventeenth-
century constitutional struggles has developed through
the work of Gardiner and his successors, and has been
brought to a higher state of organisation by virtue of
processes somewhat on the pattern that I have described,
what emerges is a new and drastically different formula-
tion of the whole conflict. And this new way of
presenting the entire issue has a peculiar characteristic
which I wish to examine, because it shows us what the

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